Coming soon: Where are our LTA Grads at now? 

Student Spotlight: Rhett Gaddes

Rhett recently graduated from Life Time Academy. Check out his video interview on his decision to enroll in the program and his overall experience.

Student Spotlight: Jill Jurgens

We capture an interview with student Jill Jurgens on how Life Time Academy is helping prepare her for a career in personal training.

Student Spotlight: Lee Syndergaard

Becoming a personal trainer wasn’t something Lee seriously considered at first, although in retrospect it was always at the back of his mind. In the past he helped friends and family members work out and eat better, but had remained in his sales and marketing career. In the summer of 2012 Lee decided being a personal trainer was his goal.

Lee explained, “I knew going through the Academy would give me a chance to play a more direct and active role in helping members live a healthier, happier life. I hit the books hard, worked my tail off, and passed the certification exams.”

Lee’s fitness goals have evolved over the years. Initially he just wanted to gain weight, mainly for aesthetic reasons; now he’s more interested in prolonging his life, overall health and wellness as well as providing a good example for his son. Lee applies what he learned at the Academy to his own fitness.

“Playing an active role in the success of my clients and others I come in contact with is one of the main benefits to becoming a Life Time Academy certified trainer. I have watched people make small changes in their lives which have eventually lead to big changes in their health and happiness. To inspire people to make positive changes, big and small, is the legacy I hope to leave to the world.”

Lee Syndergaard

Student Spotlight: Courtney Chappell

Courtney is based in Houston and has an incredible story to share. She graduated in October.  

Courtney Chappell was always an athlete; she had been involved in sports since she was old enough to hold a ball. She played softball, basketball and ran track. At the beginning of her H.S. freshman year, she was 5'7" and weighed 165 pounds. However, in one year she went from 165 pounds to 211. She was very active, both on and off season. Despite this she was the only one in her family who was overweight.

In her sophomore year she noticed some concerning changes in her body; eventually she was diagnosed with polycistic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The weight gain and inability to lose it made sense. Courtney says, "It took me a year to wrap my head around how to lose the weight in a way that worked best for me. In the Spring of 2012 I decided I wasn't going to diet but I was going to eat healthy."

Courtney Chappell

Student Spotlight: Kathy Miller

In November 2012, Kathy’s hopes, dreams and a little bit of karma came together with an early Christmas present. Kathy noticed a business card for Life Time Academy at the front counter and saw that the Academy was coming to Michigan, and was going to be run out of the Rochester Hills Club.  

She spoke with instructors and LTA staff and quit her job almost immediately and hasn’t looked back since. According to Kathy, life with Lifetime Academy is fantastic!  Although Kathy was a little overwhelmed initially, she soon realized that this program is a step-by-step process and very manageable.  Kathy feels her instructors are an excellent resource and are extremely knowledgeable. 

Kathy graduated with four NASM certifications. Her goal is to work for Lifetime Fitness; she feels the philosophy & top-notch employees has made Kathy, as a client, feel comfortable and appreciative of their expertise.  She wants to inspire as she has been inspired; eventually, she hopes to work with children and their families to fight childhood obesity.   

In addition to her passion for educating and training others to reach their fitness goals, Kathy has her own personal success story to share. Over the last 3/ 12 years she has lost a total of 18 lbs and 14% body fat. Throughout her journey, Kathy has realized that: “I can do it all in my Lifetime!"

kathy miller

Student Spotlight: Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson has helped many Fortune 500 companies in his professional career. But, according to Jim, "Its the people within these companies that makes a difference. I wanted to help people that work their whole life stay as young as they can." He felt the best way to accomplish this goal was a dual career as a personal trainer. 

Jim decided to enroll in the Life Time Academy Personal Trainer Certificate Program. His education at the Academy set him apart from the competition in a number of ways. Jim explained, "Sure you can read a book and watch PowerPoint all day long, but hands-on is what is important. The Academy allows you to observe and test your skill set before you go out there on your own. Being able to learn from real trainers is a huge bonus."Jim continued, “When you become a PT there is no one on the floor looking over your shoulder and if you don’t get it right you will lose clients fast. The Academy makes you think about what you will be doing post graduation. If you work hard and apply your knowledge and experience, you will ramp up your PT Business much faster. Life Time Academy provides you the best chance of hitting the ground running!”

Today, as a Personal Trainer at LA Fitness, Jim leads a number of regular specialty classes including Weight loss, Boot Camp, Triathlon 101 and Masters Swimming. He enjoys the continual growth and learning involved in being a personal trainer. 

Jim’s Favorite Quotes:“Keep moving forward!” “Quiters never win…winners never quit!“ If I can do it you can do it!”

Jim Robinson

Student Spotlight: Keila Rector

Keila Rector is an inspiration to everyone around her. She had been a collegiate volleyball player and was always very fit, but after sustaining injuries and three kids later she was in a very different situation. 5 years ago she was 80 pounds overweight. She lost those 80 pounds in only 10 months with a complete change in her nutrition. Three years ago Keila and her family moved to Eden Prairie and she joined Life Time Fitness. Keila explains, "Life Time helped my family build relationships. It's not just a gym. It's a community of like minded people, there's nothing else like it on the planet. I hope that every member that is new, or is even a veteran club member, feels that connection and sense of companionship that I gained here." 

Keila explained, “I wanted to get into training and share that with others because I love being in an environment where everyone is in a similar mindset, their energy fuels you to have a better experience. The relationships you build, helps you to stay accountable to your workouts. I wanted to be able to impart that feeling to others. Plus, I want the people I’ve helped to focus on fitness as well as nutrition. Life Time is the place to do that."

Keila is enjoying her coursework at the Academy. She remarks that it is truly a team environment; studying and training in a group has been great. Clearly the instructors and faculty live the healthy way of life; they are committed and passionate about what they do. Keila remarks, “Jeff Rosga, the Director of the Academy, continues to teach Group Fitness classes and provide personal training to a few clients to stay connected. He understands the group fitness instructor needs & requirements. Plus, the power of a qualified, motivating coach is so important; he is the epitome of that. We are lucky to have access to this kind of talent; the instructors here are the best trained and the most knowledgeable; I would be honored to be a part of that community as well.”

Upon graduation, Keila’s dream is to help people infuse fitness into their lifestyle by becoming a Group Fitness Instructor for Life Time. Keila said, “I am honored to help promote my association with Life Time Fitness. Being in the Academy, at the completion of the certification I know I will be completely prepared and ready for a successful, additional career. I'm a business owner and the only other company I'd represent outside of my own is Life Time. It is all because of what it brings to people.”

Keila Rector